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  • Press Statement
  • AFC’s Response to Proposed Increased Investment in School Accessibility

    Kim Sweet, Executive Director of Advocates for Children of New York (AFC), issued the following statement in response to the release of the New York City Department of Education’s proposed FY 2020-2024 Five-Year Capital Plan.

    Nov 1, 2018

    Person in a wheelchair rolls down a hallway. (Photo by Marcus Aurelius via Pexels)
    Photo by Marcus Aurelius via Pexels

    We called for a major investment in school accessibility, and this Administration listened. The Mayor and Chancellor are proposing a substantial capital investment to make a third of schools in every district fully accessible to students, parents, and educators with physical disabilities over the next five years.

    Nearly three decades since the passage of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, no student should be prevented from attending a school on account of accessibility concerns. But currently:

    • Only 18.4% of the City’s schools are fully accessible
    • In 28 of the City’s 32 school districts, less than one-third of schools are fully accessible.
    • In seven districts, fewer than 10% of schools are fully accessible.
    • Three districts have no fully accessible elementary schools; four districts have no fully accessible middle schools; and six districts have no fully accessible high schools.

    We thank the City Council, especially Speaker Johnson, Finance Committee Chair Dromm, and Education Committee Chair Treyger, for shining a light on the need for more accessible schools and working with Mayor de Blasio to increase the investment in accessible schools in the budget adopted in June. We thank Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza for embracing the goal of making a third of schools in each district fully accessible and proposing the funding to make this goal a reality.

    With fewer than 20% of NYC’s public schools now fully accessible, this commitment will literally open doors to inclusion and integration for people who are too often excluded.

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